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Valli, they are more marginalised GNS - 100: our first subscriber Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Shipping woes of Chennai companies A professional at the helm of IRDA... No engine for this car Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Things happen by accident and not by design... PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals The sea- saw battle continues... Mu Sigma – is no more Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Solar thermal shines… Airlines in India: cost and space TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Polls and promises Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health The rise and fall of Annamalai University Welcome focus on core competence Demise of a media baron... Auto components surge… Noble nonagenarians... Why land prices zoom in TN? TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Tax agriculture CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Towards speedy justice Delhi returns to BJP A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Build close rapport with business leaders Shale gas and its shallow future CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? EVM is tamper-proof Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel No Maha Koottani in TN... Wise Presidents Wanted: a second airport for Chennai The rise and rise of KCP Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan The why of tax incentives New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Streamlining mandatory third party cover Music happens Road development slows down When nations steal growth from one another… China invests in India Moily’s bold thrust Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Waning interest in public discussions… The power-full Hindujas There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! For whom the bell tolls? Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Permanent secretariat for TN GIM More Shakti to resource mobilisation... He saved millions from starvation... TGS- The king storyteller Tough task taking states together When online building permits work…. IPL - no surprise this scam Kinetic Karnataka When small is no larger beautiful.. Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Adharma of opposition politics Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Sweeter prospects for sugar Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Medical costs hit the roof... More Shakthi to Das’ elbow An enemy’s enemy is a friend He continues the focus on social amelioration Readers' Mail When Ratan Tata visited SRM Plummeting profits of PSBs A welcome initiative by the judiciary Strengthen the base... Quality education through the PPP mode An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... CII projects higher growth… The nuclear option Muffled voices for merit… Where is Rajaji? No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Pharma – overdose of copying The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Discoms deserve better… Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Marketing expert Balagopal is no more A yen for wastage… Fuel for thought Intellectual of rare qualities Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Engineering seats go abegging The few handicaps... Alexa – Talking Wikipedia More heat than light Modi storms Silicon Valley When the President was rendered homeless… Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Robber barons everywhere Why this malaise in medical education? Modi and the lady Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Convulsions in The Hindu Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara The star of Spencers is no more GM Technology at last! Fortune 500 review Gas is the way forward The brown list of Venkitaramanan Welcome GST Sweet news for TN sugar mills Gay abandon in pricing Which side are you, Montek? The Gulf aviation boom Make standards certification mandatory... Cement prices continue to rise… The balancing act Small units prefers to remain small... Remembering Indira Sivasailam... S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Banning booze... Shanti and Sadhana through Music Telangana in top gear… Maximising the micro pricing … Cutting the nose to spite the face Lalu’s envy, India’s pride TELANGANA at last…BUT The Jan Dhan bonanza L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… For whom the MIDS bell tolls? B H Kothari - a tribute Delhi is distant Revive development banks... WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Another Indian music maestro at the UN Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra PC’s preference for professionals Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? TIAM turns a full cycle TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Return to king coal for urea... Come elections, come advertisements... Nuclear power at the nucleus Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Kudos to NDTV... This scant respect for Law Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Kulandai was a giant Fortune for Indian Airlines Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Protest masters... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Contrarian cousins Preserving for the future Haul over the coal Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... EEC at the National Media Centre Multi-faceted Venkat Paytm karo... How Air-India loses customs... Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more IPL type auction for VCs? Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Vibrant Gujarat Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Tribute – M V Murugappan Tribute Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Making ‘my Amaravati’... The Swadeshi Trump Delhi Chalo... Secularism and anti-Hinduism CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Boy, can you beat these? Russi Mody – a tribute A friendly business group London, London Narayan Editor's Notes More tributes to GR Quality silica from Neyveli Editor's Says A think tank for Chennai Parliament in paralysis... Delhi is distant… A more liberated TN… Roaring Ro-Ro facility SoA @ 80 Poor quality of university VCs Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Should we change the official year? Rahman at CIC Five star activism stalls development activity West Bengal: mindless malignancy Sri Lanka votes for change Tribute – UCAL Selvan… An inexplicable neglect Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Revving up the manufacturing sector When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Funding the un-funded Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Align crops to agro climate endowments… …and of a popular trade leader Mersal magnified Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Silver Years of Madras Musings Where a state respects its litterateurs… Put expensive assets created to use... ONGC at KG Basin Tatas moving out of urea production... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… A proud Madrasi Solar, solar everywhere … Tatas moving out of urea production... IAS invades NDDB... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Breaththrough in malaria control A glass full of corruption Building loyalty through the stomach
 
A professional at the helm of IRDA...
THE DECISION of Finance Minister P Chidambaram to appoint T S Vijayan as Chairman - IRDA, breathes a lot of fresh air. Vijayan brings with him four decades of experience in life insurance. He had headed LIC with distinction. He can now attend with speed to several of the issues demanding serious reforms.

It required same special effort to break the dominance of the Indian Administrative Service in cornering plum posts post-retirement. But then PC has this in good measure. Incidentally, N Rangachari ( a chartered accountant and an IRS officer) worked hard to formulate the guidelines for regulation and development that led to the establishment of IRDA. Rangachari headed IRDA with distinction and paved the way for opening up the sector for both life and general insurance.

Rangachari’s successors (all retired IAS officers) in their limited tenures, did not show much understanding of the complexities of this highly evolved business. This resulted in intense rate wars and unethical practices that could not be regulated. IRDA has failed to tackle myriad issues. Reforms like increasing the share of foreign investors could not take place. The result: general insurance companies bled, incurring heavy losses on motor and health insurance. For the four PSU companies, profits came from investment income and not from the core business of insurance. This comfort was not available to the private players. In fact a few of these are sitting ducks for acquisition.

Insurance penetration is still low. Nearly twelve years after opening up, there has not been widespread awareness on the need for insurance cover. An estimate puts that a majority of vehicles ply without the mandatory third party insurance cover. The database is weak. Vijayan, one hopes, will focus equally on the development aspects of IRDA as much as on regulation.

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